July 22, 2024


It's the Technology

Thursday Night Purge: Elon Musk’s Twitter Bans Tons Of High Profile Journalists

Thursday Night Purge: Elon Musk’s Twitter Bans Tons Of High Profile Journalists

from the today-i-settled-all-family-business dept

Well. Just after finishing that last post about Twitter banning the official Mastodon account on Twitter for tweeting about the ElonJet tracking account existing on Mastodon, it seems that whatever brakes or controls were in place at the new “free speech absolutist” Twitter have really come off. In quick succession, a whole bunch of high profile reporter accounts were suspended, including Aaron Rupar (who famously covers and quotes videos of high profile politicians), Drew Harwell from the Washington Post, Ryan Mac from the NY Times, Donie Sullivan from CNN, and Matt Binder from Mashable.

It’s not entirely clear what “policy” these accounts violated. For all of Elon’s talk about transparency, there doesn’t seem to be very much here. A few of the accounts had talked about the ElonJet controversy but it’s not clear that they linked to it.

In Donie’s case, his last tweet had been posting the police report from the LAPD in response to questions about Elon Musk’s claim that a stalker had jumped on a car with one of his children inside. The LAPD statement said:

LAPD’s Threat Management Unit (TMU) is aware of the situation and tweet by Elon Musk and is in contact with his representatives and security team. No crime reports have been filed yet.”

And then he got banned.

Binder’s final tweet was noting what Donie’s final tweet was before getting banned.

So, look, again, content moderation at scale is impossible to do well, yada yada yada. But, uh, I’d sure like some Twitter Files on what’s going on here.

Either way, it would be nice if Musk’s supporters began to realize that (1) maybe this isn’t as easy as “no moderation” and (2) maybe the old Twitter wasn’t really evilly censoring their ideological viewpoints after all… but I fear that most are going to instead not care at all and (1) cheer on this removal of “the corporate media fake news elite” and (2) come up with some ridiculous excuse about how it’s not really a free speech issue at all.

But, of course, all of that is bullshit. Elon is free to do what he wants. Just as the old Twitter was. But, we can still call out what appears to be hypocrisy.

Update: The purge continues. Micah Lee, Tony Webster and Keith Olbermann are three more reporters now gone from Twitter.

Filed Under: aaron rupar, content moderation, donie sullivan, drew harwell, elon musk, matt binder, reporters, ryan mac

Companies: twitter